Faced with the growing problems of climate change, ecosystem degradation, declining agricultural productivity, and uncertain food security, modern agricultural scientists look for potential relief in an ancient practice. Agroforestry, if properly designed, can mitigate greenhouse effects, maintain ecosystem health and biodiversity, provide food security, and reduce poverty. Poorly implemented agroforestry, however, can not only exacerbate existing problems, but also contribute in its own right to the overall negative effects of our depleted and failing ecosystems. With a diminishing margin for error, a thorough understanding of the ecological processes that govern these complex systems is, therefore, crucial.
Drawing on the collective expertise of world authorities, Ecological Basis of Agroforestry employs extensive use of tables and figures to demonstrate how ecologically sustainable agroecosystems can meet the challenges of enhancing crop productivity, soil fertility, and environmental sustainability. Divided into four sections, this comprehensive volume begins with a study of tree-crop interaction in tropical and temperate climates. Contributions cover above and below ground interactions, alley cropping, tri-trophic interactions, ecologically based pest management, and the chemistry and practical potential of chemically mediated plant interactions.
The second section investigates root-mediated below ground interactions and their role in enhancing productivity, soil fertility, and sustainability. It includes an extensive study on litter dynamics and factors affecting nutrient release. Applying ecological modeling of complex agroforestry systems, section three demonstrates the use of computer-based designs to ensure profitability. The final section addresses the socio-economic aspects of agroforestry, supplying in-depth knowledge of various farming systems and discussing the technological tools that benefit society in different eco-regions around the world.
Table of Contents
Ecological Interactions: An Overview
Ecological Interactions in Agroforestry: An Overview, R.K. Kohli, H.P. Singh, D.R. Batish, and S. Jose
Tree–Crop Interactions: Lessons from Temperate Alley-Cropping Systems, S. Jose, S.C. Allen, and P.K.R. Nair
Allelopathic Tree–Crop Interactions under Agroforestry Systems, D.R. Batish, H.P. Singh, and R.K. Kohli
Approaches to Tree–Environment–Crop Interactions, R.M. Kho
Weeds, Diseases, Insect Pests, and Tri-Trophic Interactions in Tropical Agroforestry, G. Sileshi, G. Schroth, M.R. Rao, and H. Girma
Ecologically Based Pest Management in Agroforestry Systems, M.A. Altieri and C.I. Nicholls
A Case Study on the Potential of Contour Hedgerow Intercropping for Sustainable Crop Production on Sloping Highlands in Humid and Subhumid Zones of Sri Lanka, W.A.J.M. De Costa, A.G. Chandrapala, P. Surenthran, and L.G.N. Dharmasiri
The Belowground Ecology
Belowground Interactions in Tree–Crop Agroforestry: Need for a New Approach, G. Schroth, M. Schaller, and F. Jiménez
Tree–Grass Interactions and Water Use in Silvopastoral Systems in N.W. Patagonia, J.E. Gyenge, M.E. Fernández, and T.M. Schlichter
Litter Dynamics in Plantation and Agroforestry Systems of the Tropics—A Review of Observations and Methods, B.M. Kumar
Developments in the Research of the Potential of Agroforestry for Sustaining Soil Fertility in Zimbabwe, S. Zingore, R. Chikowo, G. Nyamadzawo, P. Nyamugafata, and P.L. Mafongoya
Soil Sustainability in Agroforestry Systems: Experiences on Impacts of Trees on Soil Fertility from a Humid Tropical Site, F. Montagnini
Root Competition for Water Between Trees and Grass in a Silvopastoral Plot of 10 Year Old Prunus avium, P. Balandier, F.X. De Montard, and T. Curt
Models in Agroforestry
Relationship of Three-Dimensional Structure to Shelterbelt Function: A Theoretical Hypothesis, X. Zhou, J.R. Brandle, E.S. Takle, and C.W. Mize
Modeling a Field Shelterbelt System with the Shelterbelt Agroforestry Modeling System, C.W. Mize, J. Colletti, W. Batchelor, J.S. Kim, E.S. Takle,and J.R. Brandle
Social and Economic Implications of Agroforestry for Rural Economic Development in Temperate Regions, C.J. Doyle and T. Waterhouse
Forest Patches in Northeast Luzon (the Philippines): Their Status, Role, and Perspectives for Conservation in Integrated Land-Use Systems, D.J. Snelder and G.A. Persoon
Adoption, Profitability, Impacts, and Scaling Up of Agroforestry Technologies in Southern African Countries, O.C. Ajayi, F.K. Akinnifesi, J. Mullila-Mitti,J.J. DeWolf, P.W. Matakala, and F.R. Kwesiga
Pasture Production and Tree Growth in Agroforestry Systems of Northwest Spain, M.P. González-Hernández and M.J.R. Lorenzo
"… provides a contemporary bibliography for additional reading. It also provides a comprehensive index. … a valuable addition to the series."
– R.P. Udawatta, Department of Soil, University of Missouri in Environmental Quality, Vol. 38, No. 2, 2009